Climber reunited with camera after detective work

Peter Chandler with the camera he lost. ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (142060-2)
Peter Chandler with the camera he lost. ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (142060-2)
10th Anniversary with a lunch at Lauro's Brasserie in Fareham High Street. There were over 50 very happy, colourful, local ladies attending.  Picture: Duncan Shepherd (180345-007)

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WHEN chartered surveyor Peter Chandler reached the summit of the UK’s biggest mountain he was elated and captured the moment on camera.

But elation turned to dismay when he returned home and realised the camera was lost.

Fortunately it was found by Ben Nevis mountain guide Keith Melton whose wife Davina turned digital detective to reunite the camera with its owner.

Peter, 58, said: ‘There were dozens of photographs taken of the long-distance walk through breathtakingly beautiful scenery, ending with the hard climb from the north side of Ben Nevis, so I was gutted when I realised they were lost for good.

‘There were strong winds at the summit, which was close to freezing despite being high summer, and I must have dropped the camera whilst layering up.

‘I had written the camera off until Davina tracked me down nearly 560 miles away.

‘Stored in the camera were some work shots of properties I was surveying, including one for Farleys Printers in Gosport Road, Fareham, a few miles from my office.

‘Davina rang the shop and spoke to the owner, Ian Farley. He recalled I had been taking pictures there the other week. He put me in contact with Davina and she posted the still-working camera back home to me at her cost.

‘It was decent of all involved to spend precious time tracking me down so I could be reunited with my camera.

‘There is a lot of good in people and, as a society bombarded by bad news, we tend to forget that most people look out for one another.’

Davina, who is expecting her second child next month, had a similar experience a few years ago when a stranger returned her lost camera which had pictures of a prenatal scan.

They found it in a charity shop with the memory card still in it and managed to trace her through the name of the hospital in the photograph.

‘It was a case of karma, of what goes around comes around,’ said Davina.

Peter added: ‘I’m grateful to Keith and Davina for such old-fashioned honesty and it’s lovely to hear that they were reunited with their own precious photographs from when they lost their own camera.’